August 3, 2006

Continuing to build

The Baylor offensive line has been a question mark the last few years and there are still plenty of questions to be answered in 2006.

Baylor's line does have a few answers though.

Head Coach Guy Morriss, who played for Philadelphia and New England from 1973-87 and was named to the 1981 Pro Bowl, will coach the offensive line. Morriss has coached offensive linemen on the professional and college level for 11 years of his coaching career with stops in the NFL, CFL, and the SEC.

Baylor also returns Will Blaylock. He is regarded as Baylor's best offensive lineman and has been since transferring to Baylor from Tulane. He started last fall at center but moved to right guard during the spring to give the Bears more options up front.

Blaylock, an All-Big 12 Candidate, has already made a name for himself, but Jason Smith looks primed to join him. He has moved seamlessly from tight end to tackle, and was the most dominant lineman during spring drills. He has the size, speed, and toughness to be a good one.

Travis Farst, Matt Lott, and Yancy Boatner bring experience to the table while Dan Gay is another athletic lineman making a switch from defensive tackle to offensive guard.

Baylor is doing their best to improve the overall athleticism of the line and has a few new options to choose from.

Will Blaylock - #50 - 6-2. 302 - Jr.

Blaylock is regarded by many as the Baylor's top offensive lineman entering the season. He is quick, strong, technically sound, and can play multiple positions. He spent all of 2005 at center where he was quick to turn heads in his eight starts, he missed three games due to a knee injury.

In the spring he switched positions with right guard Yancy Boatner. The move appears to have been a good one for the overall play of the line, time will tell though. He is an All-Big 12 Candidate and the combination of Blaylock and Smith on the right side could be something to watch on the offensive front.

Jason Smith - #72 - 6-5, 295 - Soph.

Last fall Jason Smith could be seen rumbling down the field from his tight end spot. In 2006 that will not be the case, but he may have an even bigger impact on the field.

Smith has developed nicely since signing as a 6-5, 220-pound tight end/lineman, and looks to have found a home at right tackle. He was named the Scout Team Offensive Player of the Year as a true freshman where he worked on the line and was the most dominating offensive lineman I've seen at Baylor since Guy Morriss arrived on campus.

He was the first off the ball, he regularly recorded pancake blocks, and was overall the best athlete of the Baylor linemen. I will be surprised if he does not impress in 2006 as well as garner at least some All-Big 12 mentions.

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